Controversial headline? Maybe. But according to a recent study, Czechs espouse the most tolerant attitudes towards some of the world’s most morally controversial topics.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about Bloomberg naming the Czech Republic the most decadent country in the world. Here’s a study that, I think, puts a better spin on some similar opinion-based data.
In 2014, the Pew Research Center surveyed citizens of 40 countries across the globe on a number of different areas for their Global Views on Morality survey.
The study asked participants in each country their views on eight morally controversial subjects: extramarital affairs, gambling, homosexuality, abortion, premarital sex, alcohol use, divorce, and contraception use.
Respondents were asked whether they found each subject morally acceptable, morally unacceptable, or not a moral issue.
Among the countries surveyed, more Czechs answered “morally acceptable” to half of the subjects than any other country.
56% of Czechs found homosexuality morally acceptable, slightly higher than Spain (55%) and Germany (51%). Unsurprisingly, respondents in many Middle Eastern and African countries reported the opposite; 0% of respondents in Tunisia were OK with homosexuality.
Extramarital affairs aren’t exactly popular anywhere, but 17% of Czech respondents found them morally acceptable, followed by India (14%) and Chile (13%).
Premarital sex? 67% of Czechs found it morally acceptable, followed by Venezuela (61%) and Greece (59%). 0% of respondents in Pakistan said the same.
More Czechs found abortion to be morally acceptable than those in other countries, too, at 49%. Japan (44%), Germany (43%), France (38%) and Spain (35%) were the only other countries to rate above 30%. In the US, only 17% of respondents found abortion to be morally acceptable.
Somewhat surprisingly, the country didn’t rate first in alcohol use – a whopping 66% of respondents in Japan found alcohol use morally acceptable. The Czech Republic came in second at 46%, which still seems pretty low.
The country ranked highly in the remaining categories, too – 60% of Czechs found divorce morally acceptable (third behind Chile and Brazil), and 74% of Czechs found contraception use acceptable (fourth behind Venezuela, Brazil, and Chile).
Only in gambling did the country rate in the middle of the pack – 11% of Czechs found gambling to be morally acceptable, compared to 38% in Japan, 31% in France, and 25% in Germany and the US.
You can view the full results of the study at this link.
If you were to assign an overall “rating” to these numbers – like the Bloomberg study did when they named the Czech Republic the most decadent country – you would find that the Czech Republic leads all of the other countries surveyed by a significant margin.
What do the numbers mean in aggregate?
I think I can say that the Czech Republic is the world’s most tolerant country. At least, going by these morally divisive topics.